Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Seaman Visit

Jack, Dan, Kylie, Megan, and Kristen!
We had some very special visitors a couple weeks ago:  the Seaman family who we know from Thailand.  During our time there, we became very close with this family: we loved playing games, going on adventures, being in LifeGroup, babysitting, having dinner, and generally just hanging out.  It was very sad to leave them (and several other people) when we left Thailand.  

Thankfully, this family is in the States this summer as they are transitioning to a new home next month.  They stayed with a us for a couple of days on their US summer tour. :) 

They got here Thursday night, right when I was getting off from my job. We met up at our apartment and hung around for a bit.  They got to meet Nala (who they had heard a lot about), my mom's dog, Tori, and Valerie's dog, Daisey.  The kids and I took the dogs on a short walk, which turned out to be their favorite thing to do in Charleston.  :)  We ate dinner that night at the Bear E Patch, which is one of my favorite local places.  Then we went to visit Matt at work.  
Kiddos at Bear E Patch
We didn't do anything too exciting that night but went back to our apartment where they got to meet my Mom, then later went over to Dad & Gail's house where we spent the night.  (Mom and Valerie were at our place already so adding the Seamans too would have been a little too crowded.) 
On an evening dog walk.

Matt and I both took Friday off so we could hang out.  We went to our place in the morning and got ready for the day, took Mom to the airport for her mission trip to Guatemala, then we all met up downtown at Fleet Landing for lunch.  I really like this place, and I wanted them to be able to eat some good Charleston food.  We usually sit outside and can see dolphins playing, but we sat inside this time which was still enjoyable.  

Guys at Fleet Landing
View of Fleet Landing from Waterfront Park

After lunch, we walked around Waterfront Park for a bit.  We were heading to the Market when Jack started having problems with his shoe.  So we piled into their van and did a driving tour of Charleston: the Battery, the houses, Rainbow Row, etc.  I learned from Matt that the Market was actually never a "slave market" but actually just where most of the slaves would go and do their shopping.  
With the bridges in the background

On the swing at Waterfront Park

We also drove over the Cooper River Bridges then drove by the USS Yorktown then went to Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park for the kids to play at their cool playground.  While they walked out to the fishing pier, I went to the store to get ready for our Cares event that night.  We met up back at the apartment and made tacos for dinner then took the dogs on another walk (seriously: their favorite part about Charleston).  After dinner, we headed over to the Bolton's Landing movie theater for the Cares Family Movie Night and got all setup for snacks and Finding Nemo.  No one else ended up coming to that event (our first event with truly 0 other residents), but it ended up being pretty nice to just be us.  

After the movie, we headed back to Dad & Gail's where the kids went to bed and the grownups played Settlers of Cataan.  :)  Brought back lots of fun memories of playing at their place in Thailand, and it was nice to play with such good friends.  Flaglers won one, and Seamans won one, so that was fitting.  

The next day, we came back over to the apartment and just hung around (and took the dogs for walks) and were also joined by Valerie's boyfriend, Zebediah, then went to Costco to stock up on some things for their next stop on the East Coast and ate lunch while we were there.  It was my first time having lunch at Costco, and I gotta say that the $1.50 hot dog combo is a pretty good way to spend $1.50 for lunch.  Matt met us there on his lunch break, which was nice but kinda sad to say goodbye in the Costco parking lot.  After Costco, we came back to the apartment for one more dog walk and for them to load up their van and get re-organized for their next stop, then for them to get on the road.  
Each of the kiddos had his/her own dog, which was maybe why they loved it so much!
Certainly was nice having some extra helpers too! :)

I totally played it cool while saying goodbye but cried as soon as they drove off.  

 Seaman fam, you guys are so special to us for the unique season of life we shared with y'all and for the many ways y'all showed love to us while we were there.  It was wonderful to reconnect for a few days while y'all were here, so thank you so much for coming and for being such gracious guests.  We love you guys and look forward to seeing you next time! :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Night and Day

Lots of people have been asking about my new job, so I thought I would go into some detail here. 

You may or may not know that I had been having some major problems with anxiety/depression for the past 9 months.  Unfortunately, most of it was directly related to my job.  I had great benefits with Verizon, and they were very good about letting me take some time off here and there to try to pull it together.  But I ended up having to take a lot of time off, which was wearing on me.  I didn't like feeling that I wasn't being a great employee.  

I've seen a few doctors over the past couple months, and they all seem in agreement that my job (the hours and the stress) was probably attributing to a lot of my anxiety/depression and everything that comes along with that.  I have been in counseling and been on medications.  These things help, but I'm wanting to really get better.  After several months of thinking through and weighing pros and cons, we decided it was best for me to change jobs.  My quality of life is more important than some of the great things that I was trying to hang on at Verizon for.     

So... I quit Verizon!  Whoo-hoo!  We decided we can sacrifice some things financially in order for me to have better well-being overall.  The last two doctors' visits I had confirmed it--since they both said (without my asking) that my job was probably a large contributor to my health stuff.  That combined with the adoption on hold made me realize that it was time for some changes.  I don't want to be working at Verizon next year: I want to be raising our child.  :)  
Box of stuff from my cubicle at Verizon.
So... I am working now at a church office doing media and publications, which is WAY more me. :)  It's 8:30-4:30 4 days a week.   It's only been three weeks since being at the new job, but it feels like night and day.  I LOVE having 'normal' work hours and being off in the evenings.  And I love being at a job that has eternal impact. 

So it's still early, but I'm doing MUCH better. It sorta makes me wish I had quit Verizon months ago. :)  I do have a huge amount of respect for Verizon Wireless as an organization though.  And I'm thankful for the 2 years that I was able to work there.  However, I'm VERY excited about this next stage! 

Anniversary Fun

Matt and I had an all-day celebration for our anniversary this year.   We enjoyed getting to hang out all day and celebrate our 4 Year Anniversary! 
 We slept in, got ready, then we went out to breakfast.  I LOVE going out for breakfast, and Matt hates breakfast so it was a special gift to me that he went and even enjoyed it with me. :)  (It's the little things, ya know.) ;)

Then we got on the road and drove up to Myrtle Beach to go to the aquarium.  We enjoy doing things like that, so we had fun.  At first, it was crazy crowded, but it faded out a little and we enjoyed it a lot more. 

After the aquarium, we drove over to a nearby mall to go see a movie.  We had about 45 minutes before it started, so we walked around the mall and got some cookie cake. :)  
We saw Transformers 3 in 3-D.  It was fun, and we enjoyed it!  We hadn't seen a movie at a theater in a really long time.  (Since then, we've also seen Harry Potter, so we must be on some kind of streak.) 
After the movie, we ate dinner at Red Robin in Myrtle Beach then drove back later that night.  
It was a nice day to be together celebrating our marriage.  

I'm so thankful to have Matthew as my husband.  On July 7th and every day.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

American Girl Doll Giveaway

Our friend, the Hyatts, are in the process of adopting a little girl from China.  They're doing an American Girl Doll Giveaway to help raise money.  Head over to their blog for details and to enter! 


Monday, July 11, 2011

Random Photo, Take 69

Photo 68 was of Mark and Steph, from last summer in California, on the day we went Whitewater Rafting. 

Here's 69:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Random Photo, Take 68

Pic 67 was Matt and Steven playing when they were younger, but I don't know when.  (Still need some help with that.) 

Here's 68:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Four Years

It seems like we've been married much longer than four years. In a good way.  I think it's because we had known each other for so long and have been in so many seasons/locations in our four years of marriage.  
That being said:  I can't believe it was FOUR years ago that we got to gather with so many family and friends and celebrate the joining of our lives together.  

The theme of our wedding was Psalm 34:3:  "Glorify the Lord with me.  Let us exalt His name together."  I pray that our first four years of marriage have been glorifying to the Lord.  

We haven't always been perfect.  We are sinful people.  But God has given us grace and forgiveness that we extend to each other pretty easily.  I pray God continues to use our marriage to bring us closer to Him and to bring others closer to Him.

Dear Matthew, 
Thank you for being my husband and for loving me so well.  I feel safe and secure in your arms and by your side.  Thank you for being so full of faith and for helping me to remember the big picture.  You amaze me!  I'm so blessed for getting to spend my life with you.  I love learning with you and from you.  
You are absolutely hilarious, and I hope that I will never grow tired of your silliness and your wittiness.  I love that you love to make me laugh.  
You are also incredibly caring.  You don't want everyone to know, but you really are a very sweet husband.  
Thank you for choosing me as your bride and for believing in me.  I have so much respect for you and the man you are allowing God to make you.  I very much look forward to seeing where the next four years, fourteen years, and forty years have taken us.  

Yours Forever, 


Bridal Brunch Memories

4 years ago today was one of the funnest days of my life.  It started off with the Bridal Brunch that was thrown by all of my aunts... thank you Aunt Ann, Aunt Betsy, Aunt Karen and Aunt Kim!
Laura, Valerie, Lauryn, SaraBeth, Julianne, Jeannene
I loved the Bridal Brunch because it officially meant the start of the Tyndall/Flagler Wedding Extravaganza, but it also was a sweet time for me to honor a lot of special women in my life.  I have truly been blessed to have so many close friends, and the Bridal Brunch was a wonderful time to be able to share with so many women exactly what they meant to me. 
Lisa, Emily, Gail, Aunt Karen, Megan, (back of Debbie's head)
 The location was perfect: the Old Village Post House in Mt. Pleasant.
We had the upstairs room which felt just right for our group. 
Gifts for my bridesmaids were very fun: necklaces and earrings made by myself and my mom's friend Mrs. Judy. 
My friend Kristin helped me pick out the beads and make the prototypes. 
They also got nice flip flops and some body lotions and scents from Victoria's Secret.

After the brunch, most of us went to a nail salon for manicures and pedicures.  I love being pampered, so that was a really nice treat after the brunch, especially since I got to go with so many women I love! 

Valerie, Laura, Ginger, Stephani, Debbie, Emily, Megan, and Lisa: thank you again so much for being such a huge part of our wedding.  It still means so much that you would stand with us and support us on that day and in our marriage ever since.  Some of you I am much closer to now than I was then; others have drifted further away.  But you are and will always be so special to me! 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Random Photo, Take 67

Pic 66 was from Apil 2006 in Central Asia at a goodbye dinner with several friends.  I like that it's candid.  Not a whole lot of those show up on here. 

Here's Pic 67: